Modern Philology Rules!
A while back I wrote about a lame journal that took five months to send me a one-line email rejection. At the end of that post I noted that I had now submitted the article to the journal I originally thought would make a better home.
Well, Modern Philology accepted "A Note on the Style of Beowulf 1864a" today, so I'm very happy.
But I want to praise MP not just for having the wisdom to like my scholarship [well, in my mind it's "wisdom"!], but also for operating the way a journal should.
I submitted (electronically!) the Note to MP on 11/30. I immediately received an email saying that the article had been received and that I should have a decision in 90 days. On 1/4 (so just over a month after submission), I received a reader's report and the absolutely most encouraging "revise and resubmit" request I have ever read. The tone taken by Prof. Richard Strier made me want to rush to the library and immediately track down the few loose ends. I re-submitted the article on 1/23 and received the acceptance (with a few additional suggestions from the outside reader) on 2/1. So that's two months from submission to acceptance even with a revision in there.
That, Notes and Queries, is the way you run a journal.
This excellent management is good for MP in so many ways: even if the article hadn't been accepted, I would definitely submit my next article to the journal, and I would spread (and am spreading) the word that Prof. Richard Streir is a good human being and an excellent colleague and his journal is efficient, supportive and comes up with first-rate reader's reports. Hopefully others will hear of my experience and submit their best work. More people, one hopes, will then subscribe individually to the journal (i.e., not just take the library copy out)--because, remember, the most likely reader of Modern Philology is the kind of person who at some point in a career will submit an article of MP.
My larger point is this: good professional practice, from politeness to all deliberate speed to meeting deadlines, could do so much to pull unnecessary angst out of the profession.
And Modern Philology rules!